Walking Tour of Historic South Egremont

The Egremont Historical Commission welcomes you to South Egremont, one of the two historic villages that comprise Egremont, Massachusetts. Walking Tour A covers approximately 1.5 miles and 54 historic homes in downtown South Egremont and the Historic District, which encompasses downtown Main Street (Route 23), Button Ball Lane, and Old Sheffield Road. Street addresses are given for each site, along with their Massachusetts Historical Commission reference numbers, should additional information be of interest. MHC forms can be found in the Town’s Archives Room, located on the second floor of the Egremont Free Library. We thank you for your interest in our Town and Historic District.

Egremont Historical Commission

Park in the Library parking lot. tour starts at the Weathervane Inn.

1. Weathervane Inn (EGR-57)
17 Main Street

The house was built circa 1786 as a ‘one and a half story, one-room deep cape style house as kitchen’ by Col. Joseph Curtis. Curtis arrived in South Egremont on horseback with his wife, Rebeckah, and son, Jasper, in 1780 from Newington, CT. A 22-year old yeoman and young father with not much more than a pension from serving in the Revolutionary War, Curtis purchased a large tract of farmland in what is today the Village of South Egremont. Over a period of 30 years, Col. Curtis successfully bought, sold, and subdivided tracts of land up and down what are now Routes 23 and 71.  He was instrumental in petitioning the state to create these two major roadways through Egremont, the intersection of which was for many years identified on maps as ‘Curtis Corners.’

At the time of his death in 1810, the Curtis homestead sat on 150 acres of farmland, and Col. Curtis was a rich man, known and respected as a Gentleman and Esquire. Three generations of the Curtis family are buried in Mt. Everett Cemetery, where Col. Curtis’ gravesite is marked with an American flag for his service to our country during the Revolutionary War. With his death, the house passed to his wife and second son, Wilber, and the acreage parceled off among his five children. Upon Rebeckah’s death in 1823, Wilber and his siblings sold off much of the surrounding land they had inherited to Chester Goodale and others for the development of downtown South Egremont.

By 1823, Wilber Curtis was a wealthy man, a father of five, and prominent citizen in his own right. The Honorable Wilber Curtis was a Member of both branches of the Massachusetts Legislature, a Magistrate in Egremont, a trustee and founder of the Egremont Academy (today the Egremont Free Library), the first president of the National Mahaiwe Bank, founded May 24, 1847, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1853.

In keeping with an architectural movement sweeping New England, Wilber Curtis added a Greek Revival addition to the house circa 1836, which included a more formal front door, two major parlor rooms downstairs, and two additional bedrooms upstairs. He also converted the original part of the house into a kitchen. The original beehive oven used for cooking and heating the house can be still seen today in the living room of The Weathervane Inn. In 1848, in a move that relocated his family to a larger and more prestigious house in N. Egremont, Wilber Curtis sold his “personal homestead” …“which contains 13 ½ acres of land, more or less, with all the buildings standing there on,” to Joseph A. Benjamin, a successful local businessman descended from a family with a century-long history in Egremont.

At the time of the purchase, Joseph A. Benjamin was a successful businessman. He owned the Mt. Everett Flouring Mill (today’s Old Mill restaurant), which was built by his father Nathan, and the Egremont Town Store, but he spent the majority of his time in New York City managing his investments. In 1876, he officially renamed the house “Twin Pines” for the large pines that face Route 23. The house remained in the Benjamin family until 1892.

Throughout the 20th century, different homeowners have added additions to the house, the most recent in 1999. The house was first known to be a guest house in the 1940s, and has operated under various names since, including the Red Saber Inn and The McMeekin House. It has been the Weathervane Inn since 1980. From the late 1970s-1983, the barn on the grounds of The Weathervane Inn was the famous Robbie Burnes Pub, a local bar featuring live music.


About Button Ball Lane

The road’s charming name refers to the five “buttonball” trees (an American sycamore) planted in 1813, most probably by Chester Goodale, to create a neighborhood for the homes he was building around the area on land purchased from Wilber Curtis and Levi Hare. It was known during the War of 1812 that buttonball (sycamore or plain) tree wood made good gun stocks so the selection of the Buttonball trees may have been both practical and aesthetic. Only one remains, which is by the bridge on Old Sheffield Road. The sidewalks that ran from the Academy building, down Button Ball Lane, over the bridge and ending at Sheffield Road, were made from locally-cut and quarried marble. This sidewalk was replaced after the flood of 1955 (Hurricane Diane), when a more prominent bridge structure was built over Goodale Brook.

2. Mt. Everett Cemetery (EGR-805)
Button Ball Lane

Originally known as the Wilber Curtis burying ground, it is now privately owned by the Mt. Everett Cemetery Association. The Mt. Everett Cemetery is the final resting place of many early settlers, Revolutionary soldiers, and prominent Egremont families, including the Karners, Curtises, Baldwins, Goodales, Hollenbecks, and Benjamins. The cemetery holds about 300 graves, the earliest dated 1803; the latest, 1979. The stone wall built around the back of the cemetery was built from locally quarried marble.

3.  Academy (EGR-20)
1 Button Ball Lane

In 1829, a group of citizens wishing to establish a local educational institution for their youth founded the Egremont Academy, and built a schoolhouse on land purchased from Isaac N. Race. This group included Wilber Curtis, Levi Hare, Nathan Benjamin, Chester Goodale, William H. Hollenbeck, Isaac N. Race, Jerome Hollenbeck, Solomon Winegar, and Ephraim Baldwin. The school, with several intermissions, continued for almost 50 years. In 1882, the building was sold to the town for use as a Town Hall. It is now the Egremont Free Library and home of the Town’s Archives Room, run by the Egremont Historical Commission. Visitors to the Archives Room can view the historic artifacts on display, leaf through old maps, photos, and newspaper articles, and research town history on the Historic Commission’s computer and non-lending library. The Archives Room is open the first Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and by appointment.

4. Wilber Curtis House (EGR-19)
3 Button Ball Lane

This house, along with the house down the block (#7 Button Ball Lane), is one of two Federal-style houses built for Wilber Curtis circa 1830, probably by Chester Goodale Sr. Paintings from the early 1900s by local artist K. Allmond Hulbert show the house with a wrap-around porch similar to that which still exists on its twin. Evidence found on the property indicates that a cutting mill existed for use by the local marble quarry. In the early 1900s, the town barber shop was located in the (then) open basement.

5. Samuel Bacon House (EGR-18)
4 Button Ball Lane

Built about 1810-1815 by Sidney Tuller, this Federal-style house has twin end-chimneys, and a pediment decorated with square attic vent windows. Its oval wooden fan design is identical to the one on the Academy building but is placed horizontally. At one time it may have served as a dormitory for the Academy because of the warren of small rooms on the second floor and the “Keeping Room” type kitchen.  Along with 191 acres, it was sold in 1835 for $5000 to Samuel Bacon. In the early 1900s, Mrs. Alura Mendel operated the Lilac Hedge Tea Room here.

6. Red Top – 6 Button Ball Lane

Built circa 1879 originally as a carriage house for the Chester Goodale House (#26).  Roscoe Taft and his second wife, the widow Martha Goodale Dalzell, lived there once it was complete. It was beautifully built with pewter filling in the nail holes to prevent resting. Not too long ago, 12 foot diameter holes could be found in the lawn where the leather for the insole factory was tanned and large metal cylinders were buried, used for the same purpose. It from of Red Top (facing Route 23), remnants of the old trolley line can still be found.

7. Chester Goodale Jr. House (EGR-17)
7 Button Ball Lane

In 1812, Wilbur Curtis sold 1+ acres of land to Chester Goodale for $110. This Federal-style residence was most probably built by Chester Goodale for his son, Chester, Jr. circa 1830. Unlike its “twin” at 3 Button Ball Lane, it retains its veranda across an asymmetrical façade. Most probably the porch was added during the Victorian era. A flume ran through this property to power the marble cutting mill mentioned in #4.  In the early 20th century, this house was known as Edgewood Cottage.

8. The “Little House” (EGR-15)
5 Old Sheffield Road

This is likely one of the nine houses built by Chester Goodale in the mid-1800s. In the early 1900s it was used as a guest cottage for the Egremont Inn. In the 1980s, it operated as an antique shop. Today it is a private residence.

9. Hawthorne Apartments/A.A. Benjamin Insole Factory (EGR-13)
7 Old Sheffield Road

Built 1825-30, this Greek revival building was originally a store run by J.A. Benjamin and N.K. Bills, which housed the first post office for the South Village. From 1879 -1895, it was the home of A.A. Benjamin’s Insole factory (daily output of its 40 to 60 workers: 180 pairs of cork insoles). Later, it became an annex for the Egremont Inn, losing its Grecian portico in the process. That distinctive feature is prominent in this 1882 picture of “The Insole Factory”.

10. Carriage Shed (EGR-145)
(Behind Hawthorne Apartments)

This post-and-beam shed was built in 1832-33 behind the Congregational Church on land donated by Rhoda and Levi Hare to shelter horses and vehicles of the worshippers during Sunday services. In the 1960s, it was purchased and moved to its current location by Mrs. Bradford Durfee Brown for use as a garage.

1960 next to Congregational Church before they were moved to their current location

11. Hawthorne Cottage/N.K. Bills House (EGR-12)
9 Old Sheffield Road

It was built in the Federal style in 1825-30 for N.K. Bills, manager of the Cork Insole factory next door, as a food and meat store operated by the Bills family. Note its reeded attic fanlight, which matches #21 across the street. The first Egremont Post Office was located here.

 

12. Levi Warner House (EGR-8)
13 Old Sheffield Road

Built about 1800 for Levi Warner, probably by Nathaniel Scribner of Alford, due to use of a very shallow arch of the attic fanlight, which is characteristic of his work. In the 19th century it housed the storekeeper of the Hawthorne Cottage store.  During the 1890s-1930s, it was the art studio of Charles and Katherine Hurlbert and a summer art school for girls from New York City.

13. Stephen Hadley House (EGR-6)
15 Old Sheffield Road

Built 1845-47 for Stephen Hadley in a transitional Federal style, with Greek revival and Italianate features. A Victorian stick-style porch was added in the 1880s. An 1876 map calls it the “Skiff House”.

14. Joseph Bacon House (EGR-7)
17 Old Sheffield Road

The date 1802 is noted above the front door of this elegant Federal style house. Though Joseph Bacon’s house was in the village, in the 1840s he operated a farm in small portions scattered around the village perimeter. Later in 19th century, the property was owned by members of the Curtis, Goodale, and Dalzell families. An early postcard photo also identifies it at the George Peck House.

15. Wilcox-Durfee House (EGR-5)
19 Old Sheffield Road

Built about 1800 by Jerusha Wilcox in the Greek Revival style, with twin square attic vent windows and corner twin chimneys. A full veranda was added about 1855. In 1866 it was bought by Luke Shed, a teacher at the village school and the Academy, for $1200.

 

16. Tuller House (EGR-1)
25A Old Sheffield Road

This house is the most important Dutch brick house in Southern Berkshire County, Egremont’s only Dutch bride house, and its second oldest building. John Tuller came to Egremont from Simsbury, CT about 1736, and by 1758 was wealthy enough to purchase a farm of 300 acres. Construction of the first floor of his house – built with brick made onsite – was done when he left for service in the French & Indian War. A temporary roof kept his family housed for the year of his absence. Profits made from transporting provisions into Canada allowed him to complete a very well-built structure in 1761. Its celebrated northern gable end is decorated with a heart connecting the letters I (for John), A (for his wife Anna Karner) and T (for Tuller). In the 1890s, a wooden ell was added, along with dormers. Near the southeast corner of this 14-room farmhouse stands the oldest and largest black walnut tree in Massachusetts. Tuller’s farm lay within Sheffield until 1790, when the town lines were changed and brought it into Egremont.

At this point of the tour, cross the street and return back toward Town

17. O.A. Branch House (EGR-2)
26 Old Sheffield Road)

These two similar one-and-a-half Federal cape houses (24 & 26 Old Sheffield Road) have eyebrow windows and sit with their gable ends to the road. William O’Connell, a blacksmith in the Dalzell carriage works, bought two lots in 1848 for $98.50 and built two houses, one to live in and one built on speculation. In 1850 O’Connell’s house was sold, along with 2 acres of land, to John Woodruff, for $800. In 1876, Woodruff sold his house to O.A. Branch, who owned O’Connell’s “spec” house next door since 1848.

18. Woodruff House/William O’Connell House (EGR-3)
24 Old Sheffield Road

 

 

 

19. 22 Old Sheffield Road (EGR-4)

This Colonial Revival house was built 1879-80. It has a large carriage barn in the rear.

20. Decker House (EGR-9)
16 Old Sheffield Road

Built c. 1835 as a 1 ½ story Greek Revival cape. The original owner was L.S. Pixley. The house was moved to its present location from Great Barrington in 1962 and restored by Mrs. Durfee Brown.

21. Hasty House (EGR-10)
14 Old Sheffield Road

Built circa 1800 for William Hasty by Alford architect Nathaniel Scribner. Scribner’s distinctive fanlight graces the gable-end pediment. In the late 19th century a two-storey Queen Anne-style ell was added to it. When it was built, this corner was considered to be the center of the village.

 

22. White Cottage (EGR-11)
12 Old Sheffield Road

In 1871, on the original site of William Hasty’s carriage house for his horse farm, Walter B. Peck built this cottage as an adjunct to the Egremont Inn.  In addition to owning the Mount Everett Inn, Peck ran a provision business and livery stable in South Egremont, a farm (with W.S. Hasty as his farmer), and was village postmaster. After 1900 it became a shop, then a jewelry store. Today it is a private residence.

23. Site of the Egremont Inn (EGR-16)
10 Old Sheffield Road

Built in 1780 as Hare Tavern by Francis Heare/Hare, an Irishman who married into the large local Karner family. In 1801, when the road to Sheffield became the 12th Massachusetts Turnpike, the Inn was moved to its present location, 100 feet west to face the new road. The Egremont Inn, as it became known, served as a hospital during Shay’s Rebellion, and as a mustering place during the Civil War. In 1819, it was sold to William and Jerome Hollenbeck, and in 1820, re-named the Mt. Everett Inn. In 1835, it became a temperance hotel as part of the general revival and reformation of the village. In 1853, Chester Goodale added a third floor, and turned it from a country tavern into a tourist hotel. It flourished, particularly under Walter B. Peck (also a hotel owner in New York). In 1932, Major Hugh Smiley and the Olde Egremont Association bought and remodeled the hotel as part of the “Olde Egremont” project, and restored its original name, The Egremont Inn. At that time, the Inn only offered lodging; guests were directed down the block to the Olde Egremont Tavern for their meals. It was again restored by Mrs. Durfee Brown in 1966, and was thereafter an inn and restaurant.  After 229 years of service to the traveler, it burned to the ground during the night of December 11, 2009.

24.  Hare Tenement House (EGR -21)
6 Old Sheffield Road

Built by Levi Hare in 1865 as a tenement house.

25. William Bliss House (EGR-23)
4 Old Sheffield Road

This Greek Revival house was built about 1858 by P. Decker. William Bliss, a blacksmith whose smithy was next door, lived here. He invented a patented hoof cutter, which he manufactured in the Mt. Everett Flouring Mill (today’s Old Mill restaurant) from 1902-05. Mr. Bliss lived here until the closing years of the 19th century.

At this point on the tour, cross the street to the Village Green. As you sit on the bench to rest, look behind you at the Chester Goodale House.

26. Chester Goodale, Sr. House (EGR-22)
1 Village Green Road

This Federal-style house was built by Chester Goodale Sr. Goodale arrived in Egremont in 1812 at the age of 14 years old from Richmond, MA as an apprentice to a tanner and shoe maker. The story goes that at 21 he borrowed $50, bought himself a cobbler’s kit, and set up shop in a small building at the rear of Hare’s Tavern. He did so well that he bought a triangle of land down the road from Hare’s Tavern from Wilber Curtis and Levi Hare, and built this house on it in about 1820 as his residence and for his business, and named it “Sycamore Place.” It remained his home until his death. The brook was dammed to power his shoe shop and tannery; access to these was via the west-side cellar door. These businesses became successful and eventually employed several local men. Goodale was one of the state’s first shoe manufacturers to produce stock-sized (or “store bought,” rather than custom-sized) boots and shoes, selling them as far a-field as Canada. In 1836, he left the shoe business and became Philo Upson’s partner in several local marble quarries. These were located mostly in Sheffield, although the finishing of the stone was done on Hubbard Brook, probably in Egremont. Goodale assumed full control of the business after Upson died in a steamer accident on Long Island Sound. The Goodale White Marble Company supplied marble for many important buildings, including Girard College, Philadelphia, The Customs House, Boston, and Hartford’s State Capital. Twenty yoke of oxen moved his product over Molasses Hill (Route 23 near Catamount) to a steamer berthed in Hudson, NY. Goodale built about nine houses in the village. He was a leading promoter of the Church, the Academy, the Inn, the Mahaiwe Bank, and other improvements. One September night in 1879, Chester went out to his barn to check on his horses and was found hours later by his family, “dead in his stable after being assaulted, beaten, and robbed by tramps.” In his New York Times obituary, Chester Goodale is noted as one of the wealthiest residents of Berkshire County. Today, his home is a private residence and the “Gallery on the Green” Art Gallery.

Continue west down Main Street

27. Decker-Bliss Blacksmith Shop (EGR-24)
2 Old Sheffield Road

This structure was built about 1858 by Mr. P. Decker, and housed a blacksmith’s shop until 1912, when it became Dempsey’s Garage. (Historically, blacksmith shops frequently evolved into gas stations and auto dealerships.)  Dempsey later moved his business to Great Barrington and sold GM cars. The modernized building has been a private residence since 1992.

28. Philo Upson House (EGR-25)
37 Main Street

In October 1835, Philo Upson bought 42 rods of land and buildings from Wilber Curtis. This compact Federal cottage, built about 1828-35, remained his home until January 1840 when he and 140 others perished in an explosion which destroyed the steamer “Lexington” on Long Island Sound. A monument to Mr. Upson, who ran several local marble quarries, can be seen in Mt. Everett cemetery.

29. Olde Egremont Tavern (EGR-26)
39 Main Street

Built in the 1830s, this beautiful twin-end Federal-style brick building has a rich, local history. In 1890, Emerson G. Harrington and his wife Adelaide purchased the building and named it Lockhurst. Adelaide opened a tea room in the house, which she called the Blue Bird Tea Room. Through the firs third of the 20th century, tea rooms were scattered among the towns of the Berkshire resort areas. Summer visitors and the locals enjoyed a motor drive to one of these charming places where delicious meals were prepared and served under the supervision of the gentlewomen who ran the establishment. The china used to serve tea and light fare was served on china picturing the bluebird in flight.  A sample of china from the Blue Bord Tea Room can be found in the Egremont Local History Museum.

In the 1931, Major Hugh Smiley purchased the property and began marketing it as an historic tavern built in the 1760s.  Stories about how “Egremont Tavern” played a role in the American Revolution and Shay’s Rebellion soon followed as part of Smiley’s attempt to re-create a bit of “Olde Egremont” for visitors. Smiley installed a massive fireplace , with forged crane and iron kettle, in the cellar. A 1932 issue of The Olde Egremont Herald claims that the bricks of the Olde Egremont Tavern were imported from England when the tavern was built. The building was restored by its current owner after a major fire in 1956, and today is the home a Kenver, Ltd.

30. Carding Shop & Residence (EGR-27)
41 Main Street.

Originally a coach house for Emerson G. Harrington, this American shingle house was moved to its present location in 1915.  After the Harringtons sold “Lockhurst,”  Adelaide and her daughter Alice relocated the Blue Bird Tea Room here, where the wide front porch provided a welcoming respite for guests and locals. An over-head trolley delivered homeade ice cream from Wilcox’s Ice Cream Store next door (today Farshaw Books). Today, it is an antique shop and private residence.

31. Wilcox Store
43 Main Street

In June of 1905, Will Mason Willcox, his wife Mabel, and young son Russell moved to S. Egremont from Oxford, NY and purchased the property from Roy E. Humphrey of Great Barrington. At the time, it housed a store and soda fountain run by Bill Dooley. Will set up a barber shop on the ground floor and moved his family into the four rooms located over the shop. Several years later, Will built on a back wing to the house, which added a large room downstairs, in which he installed pool tables, and additional rooms upstairs. In the 1940s, the Willcox Ice Cream Parlor was well known for its exotic ice cream flavors. In the late 1900s, the ice cream parlor was converted into a luncheonette and re-named The Gas Light. The Gas Light was a popular breakfast and lunch spot for locals and tourists alike. The building was substantially renovated in the mid-2000s by the current owners and is currently the home of Farshaw Books.

32. Egremont General Store (EGR-28)
47 Main Street

Built about 1800-25, this building was for decades Egremont’s post office (1851-2005) and general store. In 1932, the store was purchased by the Olde Egremont Association and enlarged to about double its size while retaining it quaint character and preserving its original Colonial front. Formerly the O’Neil General Store, the Association renamed it the Egremont Store. Today, the building houses Lance Vermeulen Real Estate and an antique shop.

33.  Mt. Everett Flouring Mill (EGR-29)
53 Main Street

This old flouring mill was built to last in 1832 by Chester Goodale, who built it for Nathan Benjamin Jr. on the former site of Hooker Hubbard’s saw mill, which was built in 1797. The mill became famous for its rye and buckwheat flower, which was shipped all over New England and into New York State. One of its 60 foot-long 12” x 12” beams still remains. It was deeded to Calvin W. and Joseph A. Benjamin in 1856, and supplied the region with wheat flour and corn meal until 1901. From 1902 until 1906, the Bliss Manufacturing Company made hoof cutters here. Mr. Bliss replaced the old water wheel with a more modern turbine (parts of which still remain in the basement). In 1931, Major Hugh Smiley and the Olde Egremont Association acquired the mill, and equipped it with an exterior undershot water wheel, as it was felt that “every mill needed an outside water wheel.” Old Sturbridge Village bought the wheel in the early 1950s and installed it in their mill; it was destroyed by floodwaters in 1958. The Mobil gas station shown in this 1980 picture is the current site of the Salisbury Bank & Trust building. Today, it is the Old Mill Restaurant.

34. Dalzell Factory Office (EGR-30)
71 Main Street

Built in 1879 to house the offices of the Dalzell Axel Factory, this building is the last vestige of one of Egremont’s most important commercial enterprises. David Dalzell moved his carriage factory to S. Egremont in 1845. Dalzell introduced a method of forging his axles and collars from a solid metal bar instead of using welded collars, which was the process at the time. He introduced the “Centennial Axle” at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia, and was awarded a medal for the finest exhibit and a diploma of merit for superiority. So well-known did these products of the factory become outside of Egremont that the leading carriage builders of New York, Philadelphia, New Haven, Cleveland, Springfield, and beyond used Dalzell axles on their coaches.  By the early 20th century, the new-fangled automobile was taking over the roads from horse-drawn carriages. Although some automobiles did use Dalzell components, the directors of the company, heretofore willing to invest in the latest technology, were not sufficiently foresighted to recognize the growing popularity of the motor car. By 1909, the directors decided that the business could no longer generate a profit and voted to cease manufacturing. Today, all that remains of the Dalzell Axle Company is the main office, today the Spirit Shoppe, and the stone wall on the stream bank.

35. Barn (EGR-31)
73 Main Street

This gambrel-roofed board-and-batten barn was built about 1920 on the former site of Dalzell Axel Works’ Carpenter, Blacksmith and Machine Shop.  Dalzell Axel Works was operative from 1845 until 1909. It has served as a depot for toys (sold to the Boston and New York markets) and was a film studio during the 1970s.

Cross the street and look to your left for #36 and then head east back into Town on Route 23

36. Major Plynna Karner House (EGR-32)
70 Main Street

This house was built about 1790-1800 by the locally prominent Karner family and was for many years the residence of Major Plynna Karner. Karner was an officer of the Massachusetts Militia and was elected as a representative to the State Great and General Court in the 1830s. Karner’s carriage business was sold in 1845 to David Dalzell, who developed it into the Dalzell Axel Works. The building remained in the family until 1904 when it was sold to W.C. Dalzell.

37.  Dalzell Axel Factory housing (EGR-35-38)
Main Street and Baldwin Hill Rd S/N

During the 1850s, Dalzell factory workers were housed in several single residences or multi-family dormitories in the neighborhood around their factory, along Main Street and “Shop Hill” (today’s Baldwin Hill N/S). The buildings remain residences today.

(EGR-35) 4 Baldwin Hill Rd N/S

(EGR-36) 2 Baldwin Hill Rd. N/S

(EGR-37) 68 Main Street

(EGR-38) 66 Main Street

38. Wm. O’Connell House (EGR-39)
62 ½ Main Street

This Greek Revival residence was built about 1855-60 for William O’Connell, a blacksmith who worked for Karner Carriage Works, the predecessor of the Dalzell Axel Factory. One of O’Connell’s daughters married into the Dalzell family; the house then became the home of the owner of the Axel Works. It is an elegant structure, with good proportions, a round attic vent window, large French windows and recessed double door on the façade, and a marble stoop. Also known as the David Dalzell House.
39. The Huddle/ Block Tin Shop (EGR-40)
54A Main Street

Built about 1815-20, this building has been a home to a tin shop, pewterer, and a plumber. It was also used by the Dalzell Axel Factory to house their workers. Today it is a multi-family residence.

40. Pinky J. Meach House (EGR-41)
52 Main Street

Built about 1800-10, this modest Cape has housed a blacksmith (1855) and, later, the Block Tin Shop.

41. Barnett House (EGR-42)
48 Main Street

This house, with a handsome broken bonnet pediment over the front door, added in the late 20th century, was built about 1835-40. The original owner, Mr. Barnett, worked at the Dalzell Axle factory; his widow eventually married one of the Dalzells.

42. Chancey Chase House (EGR-43)
44 Main Street

In the opening years of the 19th century, Mr. Chase built this house on a marble foundation next to the South Egremont Store. In about 1855-60, Joseph A. Benjamin, the new owner, moved it across the street to its present location. Its look has been much altered over the years; a notable change is the front façade’s picture window.

 

43. South Egremont School (EGR-44)
42 Main Street

This late Greek-Revival village school was put into operation in 1880, and is used today by the Southern Berkshire Regional School District for Egremont’s youngest students.

 

 

44. John O’Neil House (EGR-45)
40 Main Street

Built in about 1880 as a residence for John O’Neil, the owner of the South Egremont Store, this Classical Revival house has an enclosed porch, Victorian bay window, and double-hung windows. It was subsequently inhabited by Mr. Roy Patterson, the store’s next owner. Currently, it houses the Geffner and Schatzky antique business.

45. Nathan Benjamin House (EGR-46)
38 Main Street

Another 19th century (ca 1808) Nathaniel Scribner house, given its distinctive attic fanlight and classical pediment.

46. South Egremont Congregational Church (EGR-47)
34 Main Street

Egremont’s first Meeting House lot was laid out in 1757 on Townhouse Hill Road, which was then the town’s main thoroughfare. The structure was built in 1767 and served the population for about fifty years, until a religious division within the town saw the need for two houses of worship, one in North Egremont Village and the other in South Egremont village. In December 1831, $2009 was raised to build a new South Egremont Meeting House on land donated by Levi and Rhoda Hare. The final cost of the building, planned by Major Plynna Karner and an architecture committee, was $2500.  At its completion in August 1833, the building had a gallery, arched ceiling, and seats facing the pulpit on the south side of the building. Two stoves warmed the interior. In 1854, the interior was redecorated, and congregational seating was turned to the north. In 1870, the gallery was removed and a choir loft built; the present pulpit was built at a cost of $2000.

 

Egremont Walking Tour 09647.  The Parsonage (EGR-48)
32 Main Street

This Federal/Greek Revival cottage was built circa 1850 by Wilbur Curtis, who sold it to the Congregational Society in December 1855 for use as a Parsonage. It has been much altered since its construction: photos from 1868 show it with eyebrow windows, pilasters, and a wide cornice. These were removed in 1884 when a second story was added.

 

48.  George Brewster house (EGR-49)
28 Main Street

This Classic Revival home was built in 1878 by George Brewster, who ran a passenger and freight stage between South Egremont and Great Barrington. Brewster’s daughter, Edith Brewster Spurr (1871-1971), was for many years the Town’s historian. During the 1970s the largest balsam poplar tree in the U.S. stood in its front yard.

49. Carriage Barn for “Taft’s Folly” (EGR-50)
26 Main Street

Built in 1878-79, this striking Gothic board and batten barn was built as a carriage barn for Taft’s Folley, a large Victorian house built around the Levi Hare house for Roscoe C. Taft, a partner in the Dalzell Axle Works and Treasurer of the firm. Taft’s Folley was torn down when Main Street was widened. The carriage house originally included three open stalls, one box stall, a harness case and tool room, and an ice house with storage for 30 tons of ice. Today it is a private residence.

50. Tall Trees (EGR-51)
24 Main Street, A & B

This Federal-Classic Revival house was built in 1880 by C.G. Dalzell, owner of the Carriage Axle works, one of the town’s major 19th century manufacturing concerns.

51. Meat Market (EGR-52)
22 Main Street

This “L” shaped Greek Revival house was built in 1839 to house the meat and provision store of Wilbur Curtis, who owned most of the land between this site and the church. The building was moved north about 150 feet to its present site in 1858 when Main Street was widened. Its back steps are marble slabs taken from its fireplace surround. When its barn was blown down by the hurricane of 1936, a cache of coins from 1839 was found in the foundation.

52. J.C. O’Neil House (EGR-53)
20 Main Street

53. Bettis House (EGR-54)
18 Main Street

Both of these houses were built as private residences in 1880.

54. H.G. Curtis House (EGR-55)
16 Main Street

Originally built in the Federal style by Wilbur Curtis about 1815-20, this tenant house was remodeled as an American Shingle style house in 1890. A Victorian bay window has been added to the southwest façade; the porch has been enclosed, and bi-colored shingles have been added.

Thank you for taking the Tour. Cross the street to return to the Library parking lot.